As frightening as the COVID-19 pandemic may seem, one of the best ways to protect yourself as well as your family is a simple task that you should already be very familiar with: handwashing. The regular use of soap and water or hand sanitizer can go a long way towards preventing the spread of all kinds of viral illnesses as well as infections such as SARS and MERS. How is your hand hygiene? As handwashing is an important practice at any dental clinic, your dentist can give you quite a few tips on finding the best way to keep your hands as clean as possible.
When Do You Need to Wash Your Hands?
Generally speaking, you should be washing your hands throughout the day every day, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, the practice is especially important if:
- You have just returned home from the grocery store, work, school, or any other kind of public outing.
- You are about the leave the bathroom.
- You are about to, are currently, or have just finished preparing or eating food.
- You have just shook hands with somebody or been in contact with an animal.
- You have just blown your nose, coughed, or sneezed.
What is the Proper Handwashing Procedure?
First, you should place your hands under running water and allow them to get completely wet. After that, you should lather the inside and back of your hands and fingertips with soap. Rub your hands under the water for about 20 seconds, and be sure to move your fingertips around as much as possible. Afterwards, remove your hands and rub them together. (Be gentle; harsh scrubbing movements could end up irritating or damaging the skin.) Use the running water to rinse away any remaining soap before drying your hands on a paper towel or with an air dryer.
When Should Hand Sanitizer Be Used?
While hand sanitizer is useful for killing a wide variety of germs and viruses, soap and water are generally far more effective when it comes to general hand hygiene. That said, you should carry hand sanitizer with you for situations where you need to clean your hands but can’t get to a bathroom where soap and water are available – for example, on an airplane or while riding another form of public transportation. You might also use hand sanitizer right before you sit down at a restaurant so that you don’t have to get out of your seat once the food arrives.
If you haven’t been as attentive to your handwashing habits as you should be, now is an excellent time to reevaluate yourself. Those few extra seconds in the bathroom can lead to improved health and help make your environment safer for you and others.
About Bethel Dental
The dentists at Bethel Dental Clinic focus on providing comprehensive, personalized service. As part of this mission, they have adopted a number of additional steps to keep their patients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic; this includes providing a hospital-grade hand sanitizing station for you to use before entering the clinical area of the practice. To schedule an appointment, visit our website.